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JULY’S TRISTATE TALKING NEWS – REGIONAL, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL SNAPSHOTS

YOUR JULY 2021 NEWS BULLETIN BRIEF FROM THE…
KENTUCKY
’BRING DIVERSITY BACK.’ HOW KENTUCKY’S BLACK FARMERS ARE GETTING FINANCIAL HELP: Much of Kentucky’s agriculture was built on the backs of Black Americans, yet Black farmers in the state account for less than 600 of the more than 76,000 agriculture operations in the state — a mere 1.4%. In an effort to increase diversity in Kentucky’s agriculture, Farm Credit Mid-America is partnering with Black Soil KY to support a variety of agricultural education and diversity initiatives across the Commonwealth including in places like west Louisville, Lexington, and Hopkinsville. The new partnership comes with a commitment from Farm Credit Mid-America to donate $200,000 to Black Soil KY.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
NIMBUS NAMED MULTICULTURAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR (A TSMSDC CERTIFIED MBE): Nimbus, a Black-owned agency in Louisville, Kentucky, was deeply affected by Breonna Taylor’s death at the hands of local police last year. Aside from the personal hurt, the agency’s office was vandalized during protests—an event it viewed as part of the necessary outpouring of grief to bring awareness to the situation. “We took it as a time to not only educate and inform ourselves and our team members, but to also educate our clients about why the work that we do is so important,” says Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Partner Dawn Wade. “It’s not just about putting people of color in campaigns—it’s that representation matters.”
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

TENNESSEE
GROWING IN TENNESSEE: GE APPLIANCES ADDS NEW PRODUCT LINE TO ITS GROWING MANUFACTURING PLANT IN SELMER: GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, is continuing its U.S. manufacturing expansion with a $5 million investment in its Selmer, Tennessee Monogram Refrigeration subsidiary to begin production of new Zoneline® vertical terminal air conditioners, or VTACs, commonly used in hotels and private residential facilities. The new product line was formerly produced in Mexico, and the decision was made to reshore production closer to U.S. customers. The new investment will create the fifth assembly line at the plant and add 33 new jobs, bringing total employment to 465.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
AMAZON COMMITS $75 MILLION TO DEVELOP 800 AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS IN NASHVILLE: Amazon on Wednesday announced a commitment of $75 million for developers to create affordable homes in the Nashville near WeGo Public Transit high-capacity corridors. The company reported 800 homes will be built on private land and the investment is part of Amazon’s more than $2 billion Housing Equity Fund to preserve and create over 20,000 affordable homes through below-market loans to housing partners, traditional and non-traditional public agencies, and minority-led organizations.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

WEST VIRGINIA
CAMPAIGN ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS: A new campaign is encouraging West Virginia residents to support small businesses as the economy continues to reopen. The West Virginia Small Business Development Center launched its “Come In, We’re Open” campaign on Sunday. It’s an invitation to people to visit local businesses in their communities, center Director Debra Martin told The Exponent Telegram. “Throughout the pandemic, small business owners have adapted and persevered and continue to be the backbone of our economy. As West Virginia reopens, it’s critical that small businesses receive enough support to survive long term,” she said.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

2020-2021 INDUCTEE INTO WEST VIRGINIA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME – ACTION FACILITIES MANAGEMENT, INC. (A TSMSDC CERTIFIED MBE): The 2020-‘21 class of the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame honors a group of pioneers and visionaries who have transformed the business landscape of our state and inspire us to move West Virginia Forward.
This class of inductees includes:
  • Gregory A. Burton, Executive Chairman of Encova Mutual Insurance Group; 
  • Harry “Hap” Esbenshade III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Mountain Company and Laurel Management Group; 
  • Arthur Gabriel, co-founder, secretary, treasurer and president of Gabriel Brothers;
  • Diana Lewis Jackson, president and founder of Action Facilities Management.
“We are delighted to be welcoming these West Virginia success stories into the Business Hall of Fame,” said W. Marston “Marty” Becker, chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee. “These individuals have made substantial impacts in their respective industries and truly exemplify our West Virginian values.”
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT’S HAPPENING NATIONALLY!
IN JULY, AMAZON TO START TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR GRANTS UP TO $10,000 TO HELP BLACK ENTREPRENEURS: Amazon recently announced a new grant program aimed at remedying “historical, manifest imbalances by growing and advancing equity for Black-owned businesses.” The e-tailer said it is launching its Black Business Accelerator program. Amazon said the opportunity is open to “U.S.-based Amazon Professional seller(s), selling products on Amazon.com,” and will provide mentorship, business promotion, and financial assistance for business owners. 
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
7 WAYS COMPANIES ARE ADVANCING RACIAL JUSTICE IN BUSINESS:
  • Over the past year, the pressure for companies to act on racial equality has increased.
  • In response, they have started to focus on seven key actions to increase diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I).
  • These include hiring for DE&I roles and providing anti-bias trainings.
The murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers on May 25, 2020, caused a surge in activism across the world, and forced businesses and organizations to both acknowledge and scrutinize the systemic racism and bias inherent in much of corporate culture and operations.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

SPECIAL FEATURE STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY – ON TRACK FOR STRONG BUT UNEVEN GROWTH AS COVID-19 STILL WEIGHS: A year and a half since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy is poised to stage its most robust post-recession recovery in 80 years in 2021. But the rebound is expected to be uneven across countries, as major economies look set to register strong growth even as many developing economies lag.
Global growth is expected to accelerate to 5.6% this year, largely on the strength in major economies such as the United States and China. And while growth for almost every region of the world has been revised upward for 2021, many continue to grapple with COVID-19 and what is likely to be its long shadow. Despite this year’s pickup, the level of global GDP in 2021 is expected to be 3.2% below pre-pandemic projections, and per capita GDP among many emerging market and developing economies is anticipated to remain below pre-COVID-19 peaks for an extended period. As the pandemic continues to flare, it will shape the path of global economic activity.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
WHY JUNETEENTH MATTERS EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD:
  • 19 June commemorates the end of slavery in the US and is now a federal holiday.
  • The day is an opportunity to reflect on ways to combat racism in every country.
To some it might seem like a relatively obscure Americanism. Even in America, it’s only been a federal holiday since yesterday. But Juneteenth, celebrated on 19 June, presents an important opportunity to take stock of the systemic racism and intolerance that have long cut across international borders. The particular event being commemorated foreshadowed the disappointing and disjointed reckoning with racism that unfolded in subsequent years. On 19 June 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued, Black people in Galveston, Texas were belatedly informed of their freedom by soldiers reading from a general order as they marched through town.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
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